Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unusual Grape Tasting

Regardless of how wonderful they are and how much variation there can be in wines made from them them, inevitably people get tired of wines make from common grapes, e.g., Chardonnary, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, etc. If you're like me you like variety in life and wine which is why I was thrilled to see that the Wine Warehouse was hosting a tasting whose theme was unusual grapes. Yes, unusual is relative from person to person but it was nice to see people tasting who, for example, had never heard of a Bonarda. The tasting featured no blends. There were 12 wines made of the following grapes: Verdejo, Torrontes, Garanega, Aliante Bouchet (Grenache hybrid), Pinotage, Mencia,
Gruner Veltliner, Godello, Prieto Picudo, Gamay, Bonarda and Petit Verdot.

Those that I thought were the best are:
1. Crios by Susana Balbo 2008 (100% Torrontes; Mendoza, Argentina) $14. Fruity, floral, light, crisp, steely finish. This is a nice everyday white that has the same body as, and is a great alternative to, Sauvingnon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. 87/100

2. Huber "Hugo" 2008 (Gruner Veltliner; Austria) $13. Lime, honeydew, minerals. Also a good everyday light white. 86/100

3. Bodegas Godeval 2007 (Godello; Galacia, Spain) $15. Excellent balance, good acid, seamlessly transition from beginning to end. 91/100 - my favorite wine of the night. (Label pictured above)

4. Pardevalles Gamonal 2006 (Prieto Picudo; Tierra de Leon, Spain) $15. Dark bitter cocoa, black cherry.

5. Pirramimma 2003 (Petit Verdot; McLaren Vale, Austrailia) $17. Medium bodied red, red & black fruit but not fruity.


  1. Did you mean to say favority in your poll question?

    My least favorite white varietal is Torrontes. Or the '07 Crios I had was a fluke & I should try another producer's.

    I'm sitting on (cellaring) my '03 Pirramimma. Do you think it may get better with some age?

  2. :D No, 'favority' was inadvertent, although I like inventing new words. I didn't like Torrontes for a while b/c floral elements were so strongly correlated with them. But now I kinda like Torrontes (and flowers in my wine). I would look at Cellartracker! for the drinking window of your Pirramimma. In general, I think that cellaring is relative to preference: if you like aged notes in your wine, then cellar your wines.

  3. I'm a white wine lover, so the Crios and the Hugo sound great. I'm always on the lookout for good wines, so thanks for the reviews!